Clashes between gangs leave at least 89 dead in Port-au-Prince

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Clashes between gangs leave at least 89 dead in Port-au-Prince

Gang violence in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, has left at least 89 dead and 74 injured in the past week.

At least 89 people have been killed in a week in clashes between gangs in Port-au-Prince, capital of Haiti, where prices are soaring and fuel shortages are worsening more and more, which threatens the humanitarian aid that is crucial for the inhabitants.

At least 89 people were murdered and 16 others are missing, the National Network for the Defense of Human Rights said in a statement, adding that the partial assessment of this violence also reports 74 injured by gunshot or stabbing.

Since Thursday, bursts of automatic weapons crackle all day long in Cité Soleil, the most disadvantaged and densely populated town in the metropolitan area: two factions of gangs clash there without the police, short of men and equipment, intervene.

Along the corridors of the slums that have formed there over the past four decades, thousands of families have no choice but to hole up in their homes without being able to get water and food.

Some residents are victims of stray bullets even inside their modest homes, made of simple sheet metal, but ambulances are not allowed to circulate freely in this area to help the injured.

We call on all belligerents to allow the passage of aid to Brooklyn [name of the district of Cité Soleil where the violence is concentrated, editor's note] and to spare civilians, urged Wednesday Mumuza Muhindo, head of mission of Doctors Without Borders.

Hampered in its operations to evacuate victims, the humanitarian organization has nevertheless operated on an average of fifteen wounded per day since Friday in its hospital located near Cité Soleil.

Along the only road that leads to Brooklyn, we passed rotting or burned corpses, added Mumuza Muhindo.

“It could be people killed in the clashes or who were trying to flee and were shot. It's a real battlefield. »

— Mumuza Muhindo, Head of Mission of Doctors Without Borders

These deadly clashes between gangs harm all activities in the capital, because it&#x27 The oil terminal that supplies Port-au-Prince and all of northern Haiti is located in Cité Soleil.

The capital's service stations no longer distribute a drop of fuel, driving up prices on the black market.

Angry at this situation, motorcycle taxi drivers erected a number of barricades on Wednesday on the main roads of Port-au-Prince.

Motorcycle taxi drivers set up barricades all over the capital to denounce the situation.

Faced with this spontaneous movement, only short trips by motorcycle within the neighborhoods were possible, AFP journalists were able to observe.

Subjected to such hazard, the inhabitants of the capital struggle to organize their daily activities, already hampered by the risk of kidnapping.

For more than two years, the gangs have multiplied the villainous kidnappings in the city, kidnapping people of all socio-economic origins and all nationalities.

Enjoying widespread impunity, criminal gangs have amplified their actions over the weeks: at least 155 kidnappings were committed in June compared to 118 in May, the Center for Analysis and Research in Human Rights reported in its latest published report Wednesday.

Many Haitians who can flee to the Dominican Republic or the United States. Many who have neither the economic means nor the visas risk their lives boarding makeshift boats hoping to reach Florida.

Many of they wash up on the Cuban or Bahamian shores or are stopped at sea by the United States Coast Guard.

More than 1,200 irregular migrants were returned to Haiti in the month of June, according to statistics from the National Office for Migration.

Upon their return, they rediscover their difficulties in surviving, gleaning odd informal jobs in a country where annual inflation has crossed the 20% mark for three years already.

A man carrying a container into which gasoline can be poured walks in front of a closed gas station due to fuel shortages in Port-au-Prince.

Facing the consequences of the war in Ukraine on the world economy, this rate could exceed 30% by the end of the year, warn economists.

We are seeing a significant increase in hunger in the capital and in the south of the country, with Port-au-Prince being the hardest hit, worried Jean-Martin Bauer, director of the World Food Program (WFP) on Tuesday. in Haiti.

To circumvent the outlying areas of Port-au-Prince, in the hands of gangs, the UN agency uses airways and sea routes to send #x27;aid in the south and in the north of the country.

Almost half of the 11 million Haitians already suffer from food insecurity, of which 1, 3 mill ion who are exposed to a humanitarian emergency that precedes the famine stage, according to the WFP classification.

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